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On Therapy and Dependency

Depression and Emotional Trauma

For others players, the game was an escape from more severe emotional stress typically stemming from traumatic events. The word "pain" was typically used in these narratives.

Emotional Sedative

For players in this situation, the game provided a temporary escape from this emotional pain that was becoming unbearable.

Divorce, troubles with my children, friends and parents. Sometimes I found myself really alone and with a lot pain. The best escape or refuge i found at this time was to go into the game to play and forget all that real life and pain. [Vanguard, M, 43]

Played a lot when my mother was diagnosed and shortly thereafter died of pancreatic cancer; the game was a way to escape from a harsh reality [WoW, M, 26]

Dull the Pain to Heal

One related thread of responses emphasized that the emotional sedation was helpful in allowing the trauma to be worked out slowly rather than being overwhelmed.

The first time I played one (Star Wars Galaxies), I was coping with being sexually assaulted. I wasn't working and couldn't sleep much. My personal life was totally off track and I felt helpless to improve it. It was easier to just play and I think it helped me get some temporal distance from the events so as to be ready to move on with life. [F, 30]

I had a really horrible break up with a long term boyfriend and focusing on in-game objectives prolonged the healing process but also seemed to dull the hurt and let understanding seep in as opposed to being overwhelmed with grief. All-in-all, I believe WoW to have ultimately helped me get through the hardest time I've ever experienced. [WoW, F, 26]

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Posted on February 17, 2008 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

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